Mon | Oct 15, 2018

The Beagle Experience

Published:Thursday | October 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer Pear and almond tart with friache
Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer Grilled gem lettuce, spring onions and mint
Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer Braised white beans and leeks.
Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer Spit roast Sutton Hoo chicken.
Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer Beetroot chichory and perroche
Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer smoked mackerel, pink fir potatoes, watercress and soft boiled eggs.
Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer It's twice the fun for Gleaner Public Affairs Editor Barbara Ellington who experienced her favourite brew at another level inside The Oval Space London where the Arthur Guinness Projects/Ashoka Chamgemakers Makers of More Summit was held recently.

The Beagle Experience

Located under three old railway arches in Shoreditch, London, the Beagle restaurant is listed among the best places to dine in that city. The building itself was a former repair place for trains and named for the first that ever ran through it.

The property houses a restaurant, bar and coffee shop in the rustic yet beautiful brick arches. It was there that participants in the Arthur Guinness Projects/Ashoka Changemakers Makers of More summit were hosted at a welcome dinner on October 16.

The ambience was warm and welcoming compared to the rainy, cold and seemingly unending walk from the hotel to get there. But the friendly and courteous staff and great company made it all worthwhile.

From our table we had a good vantage point of the chefs at work in the open kitchen, but with interesting conversation around the table, not much observation was done. The Beagle prides itself on serving seasonal, affordable British food and drinks and was conceptualised by brothers Danny and Kieran Clancy. The restaurant also has a bar and coffee shop.

From its website we gleaned that Beagle's restaurant is headed by former Rochelle canteen head chef, James Ferguson who focuses on a traditional British menu using seasonal British produce and most of the cooking is done on a traditional wood grill. The restaurant's adjoining bar serves great cocktails alongside British beers and wines available by the carafe or bottle. There is also an outdoor seating area for up to 60 persons that will cater for both the bar and restaurant overflow.

The party dined on three courses with a delectable appetiser comprising of beetroot, chicory and perroche, smoked mackerel, pink fir potatoes, watercress and soft boiled eggs. This was absolutely amazing, especially the smoked mackerel and were it necessary, we would have been happy with that alone. But after such a fantastic start, we were anxious to see what would follow.

The entree of spit roast Sutton Hoo chicken was succulent and seems to be a Beagle specialty. It was teamed with smoked aioli, braised white beans and leeks and grilled gem lettuce, spring onions and mint. The latter had a seductive effect on the palate as its aroma constantly drifted upwards to caress the nostrils and made you anticipate each mouthful. These choices were paired with diners' choices of red and white wines ... and of course an ice cold Guinness for those who preferred.

English desserts are to die for the pear and almond tart and cream fraiche did not disappoint, the former had a crispy, crumbly crust and was not too sweet at all.